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Jumping fungus

S L Forsburg forsburg at nospamsalk.edu
Sun Jun 15 14:29:43 EST 1997

P. A. Defossez wrote:
> Thanks to all of you who responded to my letter. This is what we know
> about the organism:
> It is most likely Sporobolomyces salmonicolor, a yeast known to produce
> "ballistospores". There is a picture of it at
> http://fungus.utmb.edu/pics/fungi/sporobolomycessalmonicolor.jpg.


> A. What is known about the mechanism of launching spores. Is it a
> torsional stress like in plant seed pods or is it an active (actin?)
> mechanism?
> A Medline search only found  theoretical papers from 1968 and 72.

Don't know, but let us know what you find out!

> B. Is this a diploid organism woth a haploid stage?

 According to my only general reference (The yeasts,  vol. 1, Biology 
of yeasts,ed AH Rose and JS Harrison, Academic Press  1987),
Sporobolomyces is listed as an imperfect yeast, which means no
sexual phase.  This would imply that the ballistospores are not 
sexual but clonal and I would guess, haploids all round.

The book lists Sporobolomyces as having budding cells,
and true mycelium;  red cultures due to carotenoid pigments; and 
bilaterally symmetrical ballistrospores.  

hope this helps!

-- susan
DON'T REPLY to the email address in header!
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S L Forsburg, PhD
Molecular Biology and Virology Lab          
The Salk Institute, La Jolla CA 

forsburg at salk.edu

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